Eat Whatever the Hell You Want on Thanksgiving


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the most gluttonous holiday in the history of the world.

If you look anywhere on the internet today, you’ll find article after article on how to avoid weight gain during the holiday season, what foods to eat, what foods not to eat, how to politely say no, and so on.

Here is the best article I’ve found. If you’re interested, make sure you download the free Survival Guide PDF at the end:

Deadly Holiday Drinks, Weight Loss Scams, and Seasonal Weight Gain Survival Guide over on Fitness Spotlight

Now, instead of regurgitating this same information (that has been presented more completely elsewhere), I’m going to tell you to eat whatever the hell you want on Thanksgiving.  You want to treat gravy like a beverage?  Fine.  Want to go up for seconds, thirds, and fourths on the turkey?  Go right ahead.  That case of Bud Light in your fridge isn’t going to drink itself either.  Go right ahead and eat whatever you want, drink whatever you want, stay up too late (or pass out too early), and generally disregard your health tomorrow afternoon.  You’re probably wondering how this will help you lose weight.

Here’s the truth: it isn’t. Well, at least not physiologically.  You’re still filling your body up with tons of calories.  However, you’re really not doing TOO much damage and you’re also taking care of something far more important:

Your sanity and your family.

You deserve a break every once and a while, and you really can’t destroy yourself in just one day (unless you decide to start hard-lining lard into your veins), so live a little.  After all, we only get one chance on this planet, and if you’re not having fun with those you care most about, you’re just wasting your time.

Thanksgiving is a day to spend with your family and friends – the most important thing in life is to love and be loved.  I want you to eat too much food with your parents, steal food off your niece’s plate over at the kid’s table, and drink beers with your buddies while watching the Lions lose another football game.  Just pray for Calvin Johnson to score a buttload of points, because he’s on my fantasy football team and I need a big win this week.

Okay, so let’s say you take my advice (which you will) and eat until you pass out in a food-induced coma tomorrow, here are two things you can do to make sure you don’t completely derail your weight-loss efforts.

Exercise Before

Tomorrow, I’ll be getting up bright and early to run in a 5k Thanksgiving race with my family. I don’t even WANT to run this race (not after my last experience in a 5k), but if my DAD and MOM are going to do it, I feel like I should too.  After all, it’s because of my blog that they’re now suddenly inspired to run races and eat better, and I don’t want them to stop.  So, why not burn a few hundred calories first thing in the morning, and then feel a little less terrible about stuffing my face later on?  Get up early, take your dog for jog, take the kids for a walk, find a race in your town (which will probably benefit a really good cause), and get your blood pumping and calories burning.

If you don’t like running – put yourself through a quick body weight workout.  Head down to your parents’ basement – unless you already live down there – and try the Nerd Fitness Challenge.  Bang out some squats, decline push ups, pull ups or inverted bodyweight rows, and jumping jacks, and THEN go eat your turkey and mashed potatoes.

If you’re a skinny guy looking to bulk up, Thanksgiving is the greatest day of the year for you.  Hit up the gym first thing in the morning, pump up those muscles, and THEN start stuffing your face.  Pack on those pounds, son!

Eat Less After

Let’s assume you plan on jamming pounds of turducken down your throat while hanging with your family.  Then, you’re going to drink yourself into oblivion while playing Modern Warfare 2 with your friends or watching football with your family.  Needless to say, you’re going to create a huge calorie surplus in your system.  Luckily, your metabolism is kind of a dumbass and can’t really discern what’s happening in the extreme short term.  How do you use this to your advantage?

Take it easy the next few days! According to Katherine Tallmadge, dietician and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association: “If you immediately go back to healthy eating, those calories you ate on Thanksgiving really can just average out.” On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, cram your system full of vegetables, fruits, and lean meats.  Drink gallons of water, cut way back on the drinkable calories (juice, soda, booze), cut out the processed carbs, and put yourself in a calorie deficit – things will even themselves out.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so after a day of overeating…GET RIGHT BACK ON THE TRAIN.

I realize there are pounds of left-overs in the fridge, and if you have parents like mine they’ll try to force-feed you every second of the day.  However, here you can choose to be picky.  Go with the veggies, the turkey is fine, stay away from the bad stuff.

My Thanksgiving Plans

What good would I be if I don’t practice what I preach? Tomorrow, I plan on eating gravy-smothered turkey like it’s my job, cramming my face full of everything else on the table, taking a nap on the couch while watching football, and then drinking some beers and playing pool in the basement with my dad and brother.  After that, my old high school friends will probably end up coming over and the beers and pool will continue.

This sounds like a perfect day to me.

What’s your plan for tomorrow?  Favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving?


On a completely unrelated note, it looks like YouTube has added 1080p support, which means you can watch the Muppets sing Bohemian Rhapsody in true high definition.  God bless YouTube:

[Via: Mashable]


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    16 thoughts on “Eat Whatever the Hell You Want on Thanksgiving

    1. I posted something similar to this yesterday when I had my non-weigh in/weigh in debacle (if you have some input on that debacle it'd be appreciated ).

      Anyway, I chalk up tomorrow to the mindset part of my diet. I could sit there looking like the steel willed party pooper. Eating some baked chicken and a bland salad while everyone else gorges on turkey, dressing, mac and cheese, stuffing, and all the other tasty treats. Or I can join in and enjoy myself.

      I'm not going to beat myself up about it, I'm not going to sit there and view every bite as a path to ultimate destruction. I just turn that off for a day, and turn it back on tomorrow. The ultimate advice I give to myself and keep giving is “I control what I can, and don't worry about what I can't”.

      Now I won't lose Biggest Loser style numbers each week like this, but let's be realistic. These people are burning 6,000 calories or more per day and only eating limited calories. Of course they're going to lose tons.

      I just control what I can, and don't stress what I can't.

      Speaking of controlling what I can, I will want to have some drinks most certainly, so I'll just bring my own. I've found that some diet 7up or Sprite Zero with some Crown and a twist of lime tastes almost exactly like the non-diet version of those drinks. So why drink the extra calories when I have an option available?

    2. My workout for tomorrow is as follows:

      Sprint down to West Point, GA (in a car).
      Partake in a marathon of whiskey and scotch drinking.
      Perform high-reps of finger squeezes (on AR-15s and shotguns)
      Work out my right forearm while riding dirt bikes in the woods.
      Eat enough to make John Candy blush from the grave.

      Having some good ol' Southern in-laws for the win!

    3. I'm getting together with three of the funniest ladies I know, and starting at our house with cocktail hour & appetizers at 1. we're then crashing a friend's dinner in Norcorss at 4. Nap as needed. then, booty shaking at the gay bar at 11 until they kick us out.

    4. My official Thanksgiving dinner isn't until next week (mom is working a 12 hour shift tomorrow, so we're waiting), so I'll hold this advice in reserve until then. In the meantime I'll be out of town for the weekend (goin' to the magical exciting world of Pittsburgh!) which pretty much means just about every meal will be eaten out. Luckily the hotel has a gym though, so at least my workouts won't be derailed. I might even grow some balls and go for a run OUTSIDE too, since I can't be too embarrased when none of those people will probably ever see me again…WooT!

    5. great post steve… gotta give yourself holidays off! i also recently read that the body NEEDS days like this every once in awhile. leptin is a fat burning hormone that, as you diet and restrict calories, decreases in your body. having cheat days with all sorts of bad carbs, fats, etc. jacks up your leptin levels to normal and allows you to burn fat at full speed again. so as steve said… go nuts! but get back on the wagon over the weekend. happy t-day. steve… good luck in the old turkey day 5k! SHS FTW!


    6. Thanks Troy,

      I wouldn't take what the Biggest Loser contestants do and compare yourself to them; these people have dietitians, trainers, 24-hour watch, and have no choice but to lose the weight. There's no mystery why a bunch of them put the weight back on immediately.

      Good call on the drinks – if you're out to get a buzz, at least do it in the most efficient way possible!

      -NF Steve

    7. Babs, you never fail to disappoint. I hope your party-crashing goes well.

      Don't do anything I wouldn't do.

      -NF Steve

    8. Dude, I gotta say…I don't care how big somebody is, if they're outside exercising I have 100% respect for them. Get outta your head. You need to remember that everybody, for the most part, is way too self-absorbed to notice other people. If you're worried how you look, think of how they feel about themselves. Do your thing and screw everybody else.

      -NF Steve

    9. Good call Fitz, I've heard lots about cheat days, and how successful people have been with them. I'll do some more research on the physiology behind them. In the meantime, I say live a little and go nuts here and there.

      Hopefully I don't lose to too many 8 year old girls tomorrow.

      -NF Steve

    10. Great post! I'm going to the parents house for the yearly feast…and back on the wagon on Friday 🙂
      Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the food, pool, and beers! 🙂

    11. Man, I love this blog. Hysterical, supportive, informational. Nice work. My problem is I have cheat days every day. 🙂

    12. Hey Todd, thanks for the kind words. Hahaha, yeah…try to cut back on those cheat days. Once a week at most, or pick 3 meals during the week that you can cheat on.

      Eventually, you'll get to the point where 'cheating' doesn't even make sense to you anymore – you just live your life and it doesn't involve any of that junk food.


    13. Hey Todd, thanks for the kind words. Hahaha, yeah…try to cut back on those cheat days. Once a week at most, or pick 3 meals during the week that you can cheat on.

      Eventually, you'll get to the point where 'cheating' doesn't even make sense to you anymore – you just live your life and it doesn't involve any of that junk food.


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